Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Howard HANSON (1896-1981)
Symphony No. 2, Romantic (1930) [28:19]
Lux Aeterna (1923) [16:51]
Mosaics (1958) [11:56]
Susan Gulkis Assadi (viola) (Lux Aeterna)
Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz
rec. Seattle Opera House, Seattle, Washington, 26 May 1988 (Symphony), 6-7 June 1994 (Lux Aeterna), 18-19 May 1992 (Mosaics). DDD
NAXOS 8.559701 [57:06]

Experience Classicsonline



Howard Hanson was an American Romantic through and through as witnessed by the selections on this disc, part of the Naxos American Classics series. Because of the composer’s ancestry much has been made of the Nordic influence, especially that of Sibelius, in his music. To me, this has been overstated. He is as American-sounding as Roy Harris, if not Aaron Copland. That he is a conservative by nature is shown here in the relatively small distance traversed between 1923 and 1958 as far as any modernistic development is concerned. That is not to say that the works here are not attractive in their own way, at least two of them. The Symphony No. 2 remains Hanson’s best known and loved work and for good reason. Its themes once heard are never forgotten and it is well orchestrated. The brass, especially the horns, have a prominent role in the symphony. I have very fond memories of this work, as my son while a high school student was selected to play first horn in a countywide orchestra. They performed this symphony and he was asked to take a special bow for his part as principal horn. This may not be “great” music as far as the twentieth-century symphony is concerned, but it is well constructed in three movements and cyclic in its use of motifs. As Steven Lowe remarks in his portion of the notes to the CD, music from this symphony was used during the end credits of the film Alien. Indeed, there is a cinematic element in much of Hanson’s music and nothing wrong with that.
 
The other work that seems to me to be successful is Mosaics, a short set of variations Hanson composed for George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. It is colorful and tightly constructed, even if the themes are not as memorable as those in the symphony. It is a pity that it has been so neglected, as it would enhance many a concert program and is clearly more than a mere filler here.
 
In between the symphony and Mosaics on the disc is the one piece that does not work for me, Lux Aeterna. If ever there were a misnomer it is here. Hanson wrote the work after studying in Italy. He was interested in Gregorian chant and the music of Palestrina and incorporated this influence in Lux Aeterna. The work is scored for orchestra with viola obbligato and it begins well enough, as the viola quietly plays a modal theme. So far, so good, but before long the music becomes bombastic and the other main influence on Hanson comes to the fore: Respighi. No longer is there “eternal light,” but rather the garish colors that inhabit the Roman landscapes of the latter composer. Although the viola returns a few times with its modal theme and the work ends quietly, the mood by then has been ruined. Some may find this more to their liking than I do. The mature Hanson had yet to emerge when he wrote this work.
 
All of the performances on the CD are excellent, and Gerard Schwarz is a master when it comes to interpreting twentieth-century American music of a more or less conservative bent. They easily replace the composer’s own early recordings with the orchestra of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, of which Hanson was president. The three works on the disc are reissued from different Delos recordings, but the sound is consistent and leaves nothing to be desired. There are separate notes on the works by Steven Lowe, Jim Svejda, and Steven C. Smith and all are more than adequate. The symphony originally appeared on a disc with Hanson’s Nordic Symphony, but the more varied program here is welcome, too — even if I find little that is representative of the composer at his best in Lux Aeterna.
 

Leslie Wright

See also review by Rob Barnett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.